Monday, March 19, 2012

notes from my sxsw session

Thanks to Craig Carter for live blogging my SXSW session last week. If you missed it and want to catch up on how brands can use social storytelling to enhance the fan experience, his excellent notes can be found here. Or listen to the SXSWpodcast here

Sunday, March 18, 2012

more postcards from sxsw

screen grab from Amber Case keynote

even street bands have QR codes

Mad Mannish sxsw12 fashion trend--mini fedoras

Sunday, March 11, 2012

transmedia recipes for bigger brand muffins

If you're at SXSW and interested in transmedia for marketing, hope you'll make it to @BettyDraper's Guide to Social Storytelling. I'll talk about how transmedia is transforming the marketing landscape and show examples of brands using it to their advantage.  Monday, 9:30 AM in the Longhorn room at the Omni. Full disclosure. January Jones won't be able make it.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

postcard from Austin

When the first SXSW took place in 1987, 150 attendees were expected, but more than 700 showed up. It feels like the same jump this year, only the shark is much bigger. Last year, 18,000 attended South by Southwest Interactive ("South by", to badge holders) and this year estimates are closer to 20,000. There are lines for everything--sometimes even lines to stand in line. (Except for women's restrooms, which is a nice change of pace.) Badge pickup for arrivals was, at one point, two hours. There are over 5000 sessions and panels to choose from, but rooms get closed out. Especially sessions about branding and marketing.

Running late to a session, I stopped by an Info Booth. "Where's Ballroom D?" I asked a friendly looking guy. He pointed to a map. I can't read maps. But I knew enough to know he had made a mistake. The box he was pointing to wasn't marked D. It was called The Ogilvy Day Stage. "They changed the name," he said. Which gives you an idea of the ad agency presence here. What used to be known as Spring Fest for Geeks is now Cannes-west for Advertisers. Some gripe about this. But there are advantages. Like that Ogilvy does cool wall-size visual notes of some sessions and makes them available each day at its Day Stage (next to the elusive Ballroom D.) You can see them in the virtual world, here.

Crowded or not, SXSW is a blast. Whatever you're interested in, someone more interesting than you will talk about it onstage or at a party. So far, I've attended sessions on social TV, transmedia, publishing, cool hunting and how women present themselves online. (Natch, missed The Crash Course in Becoming Superbetter.) I don't begrudge the attendance, nor the monsoon-hard rains. Austin needs them both. According to Wikipedia, SXSW is the highest revenue-producing event for the city's economy, bringing in $167 million last year. Excuse me while I make a civic-duty run to Allens.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

new sxsw camper? here's what to pack

1. Comfortable shoes. Forget the stilettos. The conference is now broken out into themed campuses. Your sessions can be up to a mile apart. Parties always seem to be located at the top of a hill.

2. Want to be friended by people around you? Bring a power strip. Every session fills fastest near wall outlets and people are incredibly grateful for shareable connections.

3. Extra batteries for whatever needs batteries.

4. Water bottle. Alcohol is everywhere, water not so much.

5. Dollar bills. For parking. Instead of housing your rental in a mindblowingly expensive conference hotel lot (which are filled to capacity by 10 AM), you can leave it in open lots all day for $7 if you've got enough dollars to poke through the slots of these low-tech machines.

6. A thumb drive. Or two.

7. Business cards with white space to write on. So people can make note of where they met you. Trust me. They'll never remember.

8. Patience, good will and a sense of humor. There's expected to be 20,000 campers besides you. Real world social skills make the experience better for everyone.

sxsw shopping

It’s two days before thousands descend upon Austin getting their geek on at SXSW Interactive which promises to be bigger and more overwhelming than ever before. I’m exhausted already just trawling this schedule of over 5000 list of panels, events and exhibits. Not to mention the party list.

Aside from my own session on Monday, here's a few I've got in my cart:

 Execs from Oxygen Media, Nielsen, MTV, ESPN and Adweek discuss how brands can reap benefits from engaged audiences across social platforms.

 Frank Rose, Wired editor and author of The Art of Immersion chats with Susan Bonds, CEO of 42 Entertainment about the latest, greatest and not-so-great apps, ARGs and marketing campaigns.

 How are consumers in a country of 1.3 billion creating and combining platforms for the newest generation bred on instant gratification and constant connectivity.

Execs from Microsoft, Method and Hewlett-Packard join an Austrian-born composer to debate how brands can maintain a consistent voice without being repetitive in multiple media. 

Editors from The Huffington Post, founder of the Webby Awards and the author Susan Orlean get together to delve into the sometimes paralyzing performance anxiety technology produces. 

How can this not be delicious.

Whether you're a power pinner or not, it will be fascinating to hear from a founder why the heck this relative newcomer is gaining such traction.

@bettydraper's guide to social storytelling

If you're in Austin for the SXSW digitalpalooza, hope you'll join @BettyDraper and me for a fun session on Monday morning at the Omni Hotel. It's @BettyDraper's Guide to Social Storytelling where we'll take a look at current examples of social advertising, transmedia, brand fiction and branded content to determine what makes stories work for today's social audiences--and what makes them fail. 

Monday, March 5, 2012

falling man #fail

image swiped from AdFreak
You know I'm a Mad Man super fan. And an admirer of its marketing which is usually brilliant. But. Putting an image of a man falling to his death from a building in a city where many still have nightmares about watching this really happen? C'mon, AMC. You live here. You know better.

This 9/11 photo ran in early edition of NY Times, but was deemed tasteless and pulled.